Prawn Biryani - dainty and delightful, a dish that will make you ask for more and more. Sharing my signature layered prawns dum biryani recipe in restaurant style similar to the Hyderabadi version. It is super simple, easy and fragrant rice with shrimp dish that your entire family will thoroughly enjoy.
About this biryani
Prawn biryani aka shrimp biryani is popular as jheenga or jhinga biryani in India. Spicy shrimp masala layered with crisp fried onions and fragrant basmati rice, slow cooked to perfection, divine!
The taste of this prawn biryani will linger on your taste buds so much so that it will straight away enter in your weekly menu list. Serve this delicious biryani with any favourite raita of your choice or simple salan (gravy) or with salad.
I have come across many people who do not enjoy seafood in biryani. But, this one is so good that even if you don't like it, you will definitely end up becoming a true shrimp biryani fan. And I mean it!
This recipe of prawn biryani is very much associated to Indian cuisine, but gaining popularity around the globe. To my knowledge, all I knew was, that this is an Indian style prawn biryani recipe.
After I situated myself down towards the southern India, the biryani list further enriched. Here, I came across various styles of biryani, namely, Andhra style, Tamil Nadu style, Kerala style, Mangalorean style and many more.
Well, let me tell you that making Shrimp Biryani is much easier than making chicken biryani or mutton biryani. It really do not occupy you in the kitchen for hours and hours.
Even if you are making this dish for the first time, apparently it would not fail you. Also, the marination time for the shrimp is much less as compared to the other meats like chicken (Hyderabadi biryani), goat or beef.
So, let's gather the ingredients and proceed to see the making of best ever Shrimp Biryani at home.
Shrimp and Rice selection
For this Prawn biryani dish, I have used medium sized fresh prawns without tail, my forever favourite. But, if you like to relish the prawn with tail on, then without any hesitation, go for it. There is no such rule to use them small or large, with or without tail.
You can also use frozen prawns for this dish. Just remember to thaw it very well and allow every bit of water to drain from it. So, the best way is to pat dry them with clean kitchen towel to get rid of any moisture in prawns.
For rice, I have consistently chosen long grain basmati rice only. The appeal and taste of the biryani rice plays a major role in turning the dish from basic to the royal treat.
That beautifully bloomed rice with perfect meld of spices and meat is simply delightful, visually as well as in taste. You can also choose to use Jeera Samba rice or even Sella rice for this recipe.
How to make prawn biryani
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients well. Add the shrimp, mix. Cover and allow it to marinate for 30 mins.
Cook the shrimp
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in heavy bottom pan (we will slow cook the biryani in same pot, so choose the one with tight fitting lid). Then, add onions and fry until just starts picking up golden color. Add bay leaf and sliced tomatoes and sauté on high heat for another minute.
Then, add marinated shrimp and mix. Cook on high heat for minute and then low heat for 3 minutes(do not add any water to it while cooking). Add coriander leaves and mint leaves and mix, cook for another 30 seconds.
This is how the prawns masala should look. It should not be too dry nor too watery.
Cook the rice
In a large pot, add enough water. Add bay leaves, oil, lemon juice, shazeera and salt. Bring it to a boil. Add rice to the boiling water and cook until the rice is 70% done.
Layer the prawn biryani
Now, top the prawns with fried onions. When the rice is 70% done, using a large colander or slotted spoon take out the rice and layer it evenly over the prawns layer. Sprinkle the melted ghee and saffron water over the rice layer.
Cover the pot with the tight fitting lid. Place the pot over a high flame and cook for 5-7 minutes. Place hot tava/griddle below the pot and keep it for “Dum’(slow cook) exactly for another 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, switch off the heat and leave it to rest for 10 minutes. Open the lid, dish out yummy hot prawn biryani and serve with raita of your choice.
FAQs on Storage + Freezing
Yes! you can definitely freeze this shrimp biryani in bulk or in portions as meal prep. Let it cool for sometime until at room temperature. Transfer into clean airtight box or ziplock bag and freeze.
Thaw the biryani overnight in the fridge and then reheat it in microwave or on stove top until warm through.
Keep in mind to reheat only the required portion as you cannot refreeze it the second time.
- For biryanis, always choose long grain basmati rice that should be fluffy with every grain separate and not mushy when cooked.
- Pre-soaking of the rice for 30 minutes is a must for perfect biryani recipe.
- Marination of prawns allows the penetration of the flavour deeply, giving you the tastiest biryani ever.
- To add more flavor to the biryani, you can add fried cashews when layering the rice for richer dish.
- Always, use heavy bottom pot with tight fitting lid to make this biryani.
- Never skip adding fried onions (birista) to the biryani for the best flavour. You can head on to this link to see how make birista at home and store it.
- If you are an ardent seafood lover then, this shrimp biryani is a must make recipe. I am sharing with you the finest prawn dum biryani recipe, you will adore. Just follow the method to the ‘T’ and Voila!
More delicious Biryani Recipes for you
If you tried this recipe for Shrimp Biryani, please comment below to let me know how they turned out! You can also tag me in your Instagram pictures to show me your creations. 🙂
Prawn Biryani Recipe
- 500 g Prawns (cleaned and de-veined)
- ½ cup Yogurt (whisked well)
- 1 tbsp Kashmiri Red Chilli powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric powder
- 3-4 Green Chillies ( slit)
- ¼ cup Fried Onions (birista)
- 2 tsp Garam Masala powder
- 1 tbsp Garlic Paste
- ¾ tbsp Ginger Paste
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick
- 4 Cardamom
- 4 Cloves
- 5-6 Black peppercorns
- ¼ tsp Mace (crushed)
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg (grated)
- 1 tbsp Oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt to taste
To Cook Prawn
- 1 Onion (large sized, finely sliced)
- 1 Tomato (large sized, sliced)
- ¼ cup coriander leaves (chopped)
- 2 tbsp mint leaves (chopped)
- 3 tbsp Oil
- 2 cups Long grain basmati rice (soaked for 30 mins.)
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp Caraway Seeds (Shajeera)
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick
- 2 Oil
- Water as required
- ¼ cup Fried onions (birista) ((Birista))
- generous pinch of saffron (soaked in 2 tablespoons of water)
- 2 tbsp Ghee
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients well. Add prawns, mix. Cover and allow it to marinade for 30 mins under refrigeration.
Cooking The Prawn
- Heat 3 tbsps of oil in heavy bottom pan. (we will slow cook the biryani in same pot, so choose the one with tight fitting lid).
- Then, add sliced onions and fry until just starts picking up golden colour.
- Add bay leaf and sliced tomatoes and sauté on high heat for another minute.
- Then, add marinated prawns and and mix. Cook on high heat for minute and then low heat for 3 minutes. Do not add any water and do not over cook the prawns.
- Add coriander leaves and mint leaves and mix.
- In a large pot, add enough water. Add bay leaves, oil, lemon juice, shazeera and salt. Bring it to a boil.
- Add rice and cook until the rice is 70% done.
Layering The Prawn Biryani
- Now, top the prawns with fried onions. When the rice is 70% done, using a large colander or slotted spoon take out the rice and layer it evenly over the prawns layer.
- Sprinkle the melted ghee over the rice layer.
- Sprinkle the saffron water and cover the pot with the tight fitting lid.
- Place the pot over a high flame and cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Place hot tava/griddle below the pot and keep it for Dum(slow cook) for another 10-12 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, switch off the heat and leave as it is for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, open the lid, dish out yummy hot prawn biryani and serve with raita of your choice.
- Allow the rice to soak for 30 minutes
- Do not use too thick or too watery yogurt. It should be just thick enough to cook the prawns without water.
- Marinate the prawns for 30 minutes to deepen the flavour.
- Use heavy bottom pot with tight fitting lid to make biryani.